DHS picks biosensor developers

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The Homeland Security Department's Science and Technology Directorate has selected 14 teams of companies and universities to help develop the first generation of biological detection sensors and systems.

The teams, currently in contract negotiations with the Homeland Security Advanced Research Projects Agency (HSARPA), will have access to about $48 million to conduct the first phase of research and development during the next 18 months.

HSARPA issued a competitive solicitation last September, attracting 518 white papers on biological countermeasures. From those, 75 contractors were invited to submit full proposals, and the 14 teams were announced today.

Six teams were selected for research and development for Bioagent Autonomous Networked Detectors, which would continually monitor outdoor urban areas for bacteria, viruses and toxins around the clock, according to a DHS announcement. The team leaders are:

Northrop Grumman Corp. of Linthicum, Md.

MicroFluidic Systems Inc. of Pleasanton, Calif.

Science Applications International Inc. of San Diego

U.S. Genomics Inc. of Woburn, Mass.

IQuum Inc. of Allston, Mass.

Nanolytics Inc. of Raleigh, N.C.

Eight teams were selected to conduct research into creating a Rapid Automated Biological Identification System, which would continually monitor buildings and selected outdoor locations for bacteria, viruses and toxins, according to DHS. The team leaders are:

Sarnoff Corp. of Princeton, N.J.

Brimrose Corp. of Baltimore

Johns Hopkins University's Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Md.

Ionian Technologies Inc. of Upland, Calif.

Goodrich Corp. of Danbury, Conn.

Battelle Memorial Institute of Aberdeen, Md.

Physical Sciences Inc. of Andover, Mass.

Research Triangle Institute of Research Triangle Park, N.C.

HSARPA plans to hire additional teams for chemical detection projects. The agency also released a solicitation for radiological and nuclear countermeasures and expects to announce solicitations this year for detecting and neutralizing explosives, cybersecurity and threat assessment.

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